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Best way to include activies and where to stay

Isle of Man, United...
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Best way to include activies and where to stay

Myself and 2 friends are traveling to Vegas for work purposes in July.

We would like to visit the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, staying for a night (maybe 2 if needed) and do the following, horse riding, white water rafting and a helicopter ride. We can either travel from Vegas by car or do an organized pick up – whichever works out easiest? We need help in deciding if 1) one night is enough? 2) do we stay in Peach Springs or is there somewhere better situated? Or stay on a ranch incorporating the horse riding? 3) Are there any sites that can incorporate the horse riding/rafting/helicopter and accommodation all together rather than booking separately? Any help would be appreciated :-)

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Hoover Dam
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1. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

If you want to see the Grand Canyon, you need to come to the Grand Canyon National Park. Easiest way is to rent a car and spend at least one night in the Park. It's a 4.5 hour drive from Las Vegas. Hoover Dam can be visited enroute. (Peach Springs is nowhere near the National Park.)

There are two visitors' areas in the Park -- the South Rim and the North Rim, on opposite sides of the Canyon. The South Rim is the more developed of the two but, overall, the Canyon is a wilderness area; the Colorado River is a mile down and only accessible by steep trails. There are no white water rafting daytrips, no dude ranches, etc.

www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm

Book one the lodges in the Park at www.grandcanyonlodges.com.

A helicopter tour isn't necessary to experience the Canyon but if this is a priority for you, book directly through Maverick or Papillon. The tours take off from a small airport in Tusayan, outside of the Park. Be sure to book a tour from the South Rim; helicopter tours from Las Vegas do not go all the way to the Park area. I would spend two nights in the Park if you're going to do a heli tour -- book a morning tour.

The Grand Canyon isn't the best place for riding. There are mule rides available (no horses) but unless you're going to commit to an overnight mule tour to Phantom Ranch, I don't think it's worth it. The overnight trip is a significant 2-day commitment, typically booked up to a year in advance.

Package tours out of Las Vegas that offer activities like white water rafting, riding, jeep tours, etc. take place at the very western end of the Canyon, closer to Las Vegas. They're not associated with the National Park and you won't see the main part of the Grand Canyon.

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2. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

Raft trips based on the Hualapi Reservation are logistics intensive and VERY expensive... It gets worse, the rapids encountered are rather tame and have little in common with "drops" encountered on multi day tours within the Park... I'll suggest a trip to Moab, Utah for better rescourse & river access... carracar

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Moab
Moab
Utah
Evanston, Wyoming
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3. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

If you really are serious about including white water rafting in your trip plans, I would recommend trying to free up more time, at least another day. That way you can have quality time at Grand Canyon South Rim (the National Park, the "real" Grand Canyon) and experience the white water rafting trip with less pressure.

The only single day white water rafting trip available in the Grand Canyon area is, as DTF and carracar have said, operated by the Hualapai Indian Tribe out of Peach Springs Arizona. As you can see from this map ->: http://goo.gl/maps/9CRht Peach Springs is located ~ 150 miles from Las Vegas and Grand Canyon South Rim is another ~ 150 miles further from Peach Springs.

The 1-day White Water Raft Trip as a full day and then some: if you catch it from Peach Springs, they want you there at 7 AM to check in for a 7.30 departure. Then, your trip length can vary from 10-12 hours depending on how you get off the river: if all goes according to plan, you are airlifted out by helicopter, but if inclement weather is present, they cancel the airlift and motor you all the way down to South Cove on Lake Mead, which tacks another 2 hours on to your trip time. Even though the trip is not inordinately strenuous, it will take a lot out of you, to the point where you won't be in any shape to drive very far. Therefore due to the early departure and length of the trip it is best to stay overnight in Peach Springs (or somewhere close by like Seligman or Williams) not only the night before the trip, but the night you get back.

Other options for taking part in this trip are to join up with tour companies offering round-trip transportation to/from Las Vegas, Williams or Flagstaff (info re: Williams/Flagstaff trip options ->: http://bit.ly/12kbteP )

As for carracar's assertion that the rapids are "tame," I don't quite agree (and I've rafted pretty much the entire river from the Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry), but it is true that the rapids are considered "moderate" in comparison to the ones upriver: Class II & III in comparison to Class V's, but they're not boring by any stretch. If a day is all you have, this is your only option (aside from float trips on smooth water from Hoover and/or Glen Canyon Dam).

Hope that helps. Bottom line: make sure you plan for sufficient time at the South Rim. That means at least an overnight, preferably two. That's where the best Grand Canyon views are at, hands down. The South Rim is the "real deal." If a couple of days is all you can spare, then the white water raft trip may be best saved for another time.

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4. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

There is one ranch which includes horseback riding, helicopter and river trip. Bar10 Ranch. It is on the north side of the canyon near Las Vegas.

http://www.bar10.com/

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5. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

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Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

Thanks guys - I will chat with my friends tonight about in info you have supplied and will probably come back with some more questions. Thanks so much for your help!

7. Re: Best way to include activies and where to stay

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